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EJI + MASS Design Group：The National Memorial for Peace and Justice, which opened to the public on April 26, 2018, is the nation’s first memorial dedicated to the legacy of enslaved black people, people terrorized by lynching, African Americans humiliated by racial segregation and Jim Crow, and people of color burdened with contemporary presumptions of guilt and police violence.
Work on the memorial began in 2010 when EJI staff began investigating thousands of racial terror lynchings in the American South, many of which had never been documented. EJI was interested not only in lynching incidents, but in understanding the terror and trauma this sanctioned violence against the black community created. Six million black people fled the South as refugees and exiles as a result of these “racial terror lynchings.” This research ultimately produced Lynching in America: Confronting the Legacy of Racial Terror in 2015 which documented thousands of racial terror lynchings in twelve states. Since the report’s release, EJI has supplemented its original research by documenting racial terror lynchings in states outside the Deep South. EJI staff have also embarked on a project to memorialize this history by visiting hundreds of lynching sites, collecting soil, and erecting public markers, in an effort to reshape the cultural landscape with monuments and memorials that more truthfully and accurately reflect our history.
和平与正义纪念馆的设计构想是希望创建一个冷静而有意义的场所，让人们聚集在这里，反思美国种族不平等的历史。EJI与西非雕塑家Kwame Akoto-Bamfo合作，当游客进入纪念馆时，他们就会首先看到他的奴隶制雕塑，然后，EJI通过美国私刑受害者的文字、叙述和纪念碑，带领游客从奴隶制、私刑和种族恐怖中走出来，而在场地中心，游客们会看到一个与MASS设计团队合作建造的纪念广场。这些纪念经历一直延续到民权时代，Dana King为支持蒙哥马利巴士抵制运动的妇女制作了一座雕塑，使的这项事件得以铭记。最后，纪念之旅以Hank Willis Thomas创作的最后一部表达了警察暴力和种族偏见刑事司法的当代问题的作品作为结束。纪念馆还展示了Toni Morrison和Elizabeth Alexander的作品、马丁·路德·金(Martin Luther King Jr.)博士的遗言、以及一个纪念Ida B. Wells的反思空间。
The Memorial for Peace and Justice was conceived with the hope of creating a sober, meaningful site where people can gather and reflect on America’s history of racial inequality. EJI partnered with artists like Kwame Akoto-Bamfo, a West African sculptor, whose sculpture on slavery confronts visitors when they first enter the memorial. EJI then leads visitors on a journey from slavery, through lynching and racial terror, with text, narrative, and monuments to the lynching victims in America. In the center of the site, visitors encounter a memorial square, built in collaboration with the MASS Design Group. The memorial experience continues through the civil rights era made visible with a sculpture by Dana King dedicated to the women who sustained the Montgomery Bus Boycott. Finally, the memorial journey ends with contemporary issues of police violence and racially biased criminal justice expressed in a final work created by Hank Willis Thomas. The memorial displays writings from Toni Morrison and Elizabeth Alexander, words from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and a reflection space in honor of Ida B. Wells.
© Equal Justice Initiative ∕ Human Pictures
© Equal Justice Initiative
Set on a six-acre site, the memorial uses sculpture, art, and design to contextualize racial terror. The site includes a memorial square with 800 six-foot monuments to symbolize thousands of racial terror lynching victims in the United States and the counties and states where this terrorism took place.
The memorial structure on the center of the site is constructed of over 800 corten steel monuments, one for each county in the United States where a racial terror lynching took place. The names of the lynching victims are engraved on the columns. The memorial is more than a static monument. In the six-acre park surrounding the memorial is a field of identical monuments, waiting to be claimed and installed in the counties they represent. Over time, the national memorial will serve as a report on which parts of the country have confronted the truth of this terror and which have not.
The Equal Justice Initiative is inviting counties across the country to claim their monument and erect it in its permanent home in the county it represents. Eventually, this process will change the built environment of the Deep South and beyond to more honestly reflect our history. As part of this process, EJI staff are already in conversation with dozens of communities seeking to claim their monument. EJI approaches these conversations — and all of our community education work — with thought and care. As part this process, EJI shares historical and educational material with community members, encourages participation from communities of color, and works with partners to find an appropriate geographic location, as part of an effort to ensure that the process of monument claiming itself helps local communities engage with this history in a constructive and meaningful way.
Location: Montgomery, Alabama
Size: 2,800 sq. m.
Services: Conceptual Design, Master Planning, Architectural and Landscape Design, Architect and Landscape Architect of Record
Clients: Equal Justice Initiative